The Louisiana Department of Health is collaborating with the March of Dimes Louisiana Chapter and Nurse-Family Partnership to sponsor the 2013 Statewide Maternal and Child Health Summit, which will bring together maternal and child health advocates and policymakers to discuss ways to improve health outcomes for newborns and mothers. 

The event will take place Wednesday, July 31 at LDH's headquarters in Baton Rouge, beginning at 10 a.m. and concluding at 1 p.m. The summit will feature nine presentations discussing the changing landscape of maternal and child health in Louisiana.  The event will also feature a funding announcement. 

The MCH Summit provides an opportunity for maternal and child health advocates to gain awareness of several best practice programs and initiatives taking place throughout Louisiana to improve maternal and child health outcomes. Participants will learn how to get involved with these programs and replicate similar initiatives in their area.

"The initiatives and programs being presented at this summit are proven to reduce risk factors contributing to poor birth outcomes and premature birth," said Makesha Judson, State Director of Program Services with the March of Dimes Louisiana Chapter. "We are eager to introduce these programs and initiatives to the maternal and child health stakeholders across the state and look forward to seeing improvements in Louisiana's birth outcomes."

"The Nurse-Family partnership is excited to partner with the March of Dimes and Department of Health to convene this MCH Summit," said Matthew Wallace, Regional Program Director for the Nurse-Family Partnership.  "Our hope is that this event will provide an opportunity for those who are working to improve the lives of mothers and children in Louisiana to collaborate and learn from best practices."

The summit will include presentations from an impressive lineup of speakers, including:

  • LDH Secretary Kathy Kliebert
  • Laurie Adams, Creator and Executive Director of the National Baby & Me Tobacco Free Program, a nationally recognized Smoking Cessation Program for Pregnant Women
  • Strong Start Initiative: Bayou Centering Pregnancy Project, a statewide initiative to enhance Group Prenatal Care and Improve Birth Outcomes

During the summit participants will be able to network with other MCH advocates, enhancing collaborative efforts.  Nonprofit and community-based organizations, health care providers, policy-makers, public health practitioners, hospital personnel and concerned citizens are encouraged to attend.

"This summit demonstrates our steadfast commitment to reducing premature birth and improving birth outcomes, which remains our top priority," said Frankie Robertson, State Director for the March of Dimes Louisiana Chapter. "Through our long-standing partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health and Nurse-Family Partnership, we are hosting this summit to engage stakeholders and continue the progress that Louisiana has made in addressing prematurity and maternal and child health in the state."

"Improving health outcomes for mothers and children across Louisiana is paramount to state's success for future generations," said LDH Secretary Kathy Kliebert.  "Collaborating with the March of Dimes and Nurse-Family Partnership for the MCH Summit is a great way to connect with parents, communities and hospitals to continue the dialogue on what can be done to ensure mothers and babies get the best health care possible."

To RSVP or for more information on the Statewide Maternal and Child Health Summit please contact Makesha Judson at 225.249.5080 and or Matthew Wallace at 225.400.1700 and  The MCH Summit will take place at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, located at 628 N. 4th Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70808. 

For media inquiries regarding the Statewide Maternal and Child Health Summit please contact the LDH Bureau of Media and Communications at 225.342.1532.